Tourism Fiji is leading the way in celebrating the International Day of Happiness with the launch of an inspiring new initiative – the Shot of Happiness Project. In a world where happiness is often measured by social media likes and filters, Tourism Fiji is taking a bold stand to reclaim what true happiness looks like on these platforms.
For 24 hours, starting from 12:00 FJT on 20 March, Fijian locals will take over the Tourism Fiji Instagram feed, sharing 24 unfiltered and authentic moments from the archipelago of 333 islands where happiness comes naturally.
Despite the fact that the hashtag #happy has over 688 million posts on Instagram, studies show the detrimental impact filtered and edited images can have on mental health and body image.
By showing how people can embrace the beauty of unedited moments in their lives, Tourism Fiji hopes to encourage the world to spark more moments of authentic happiness, inspired by the infectious joy and vibrant culture of the Fijian people.
The Shot of Happiness Project saw Fiji enlist the help of the place where happiness comes naturally, their local community, to capture everyday moments of true happiness. Armed with a handful of disposable cameras, they had one task – take one shot of what makes them happy. No do-overs, no filters, no touch-ups – only genuine, in-the-moment happiness. The result is a collection of images that tell visual stories that beam with the pure, unfiltered joy the island nation boasts.
Expert in Positive Psychology specialising in happiness, Dr Lea Waters said, “Research has shown the increase of social media in our lives has negatively impacted our happiness and life satisfaction levels. Not only is this due to the negative changes in brain chemistry, but also the constant comparison between ourselves and fake depictions of happiness.”
“Exposure to sunlight, connection to nature and being within a community that focuses on sharing can help us feel more stable, and valuing these things over material possessions is something we can learn from Fijians, as this is what makes them so happy. With this in mind, there’s no better nation suited to take the lead on changing perceptions of happiness around the world.”
Since Fiji “Opened for Happiness” on December 1, 2021, the idyllic nation has welcomed 727,040 visitors to its shores. In January 2023 alone, visitor arrivals hit the highest January arrivals ever recorded in Fiji – 67,502 visitors, representing 106 per cent of the same period in 2019, to show the world that Fiji is the ultimate destination to find a little, or a lot of unfiltered and genuine happiness, in the nation dubbed to be the place where happiness comes naturally.
CEO of Tourism Fiji, Brent Hill said, “In a world where happiness has been hijacked by filtered depictions of the emotion, Fiji remains an untouched cornucopia where happiness is a way of life and runs culture deep. The Shot of Happiness Project shows that in Fiji, wherever you point the lens it captures how happiness comes simply, effortlessly, and abundantly.”
“We’re proud to be leaning into our local community to shine a light on Fiji’s depiction of happiness. Year after year, Fijians have made a name for themselves for being some of the happiest across the globe. We believe the proof is in the pudding and the Shot of Happiness Project will speak for itself. The world shouldn’t just take our word for it, they should come and experience the place where happiness comes naturally for themselves.”